Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Palms in Demand by Homeowners

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Palms in Demand by Homeowners

Article excerpt

Clay County home and business owners who have been bitten by the

landscaping bug prefer the sago palm, sabal palm, date palm and

native perennials, according to local landscapers and nursery

managers. As home building continues and more people move to

Clay County, some landscapers and nursery managers say their

sales of native plants and palm trees are on the increase.

"It seems to me the consciousness for landscaping in Orange

Park continues to increase. They value a well-planned landscape

and will make the investment," said Randall Wilsey, owner of

Southern Gates Greenery. "There has always been a demand for the

palms, depending on the style of architecture a person has. Sago

palms will cross styles more than any other palm."

Wilsey keeps a stock of palm trees and sells five to eight

palms per month. Sago palms are the most common, followed by the

Washingtonia palm and windmill palm, he said. Washingtonia can

grow 25 to 45 feet high and cost from $125 to $150. The windmill

palm is more cold hardy, can cost from $35 to $200 and reach 15

feet high in this area, Wilsey said.

Because of their price, palm trees are generally seen in Orange

Park Country Club, Pace Island, Fleming Island and Hibernia,

Wilsey said.

Landscape architect Mike Esposito, owner of Edge Design Group

Inc. said palm trees are used primarily as a focal point in

commercial and residential landscapes. Palm trees aren't used

for shade or to screen off the neighbors, he said, but are

better used as an accent point because they don't grow as fast

as other trees. Esposito said he has not noticed an increase in

requests for palm trees in his designs.

"I would probably have to agree that in the residential market,

there has been an increase in the use of palm trees. No. 1,

because of the growth we are experiencing," Esposito said.

Albert Dominick, nursery manager at Hall's Ace Hardware

Nurseries, said he has not noticed an increase in the usual palm

tree sales, which is between 10 to 15 a month. …

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